Live blog | Russian tourists find it more difficult to enter the European Union

International12 Sep ’22 06:09Author: BNR Web Editor

It is day 201 of the war in Ukraine. In this live blog you will find all the latest updates on the ongoing conflict and all its consequences.

Russian tourists find it more difficult to enter the European Union

05:25 | Russian tourists can no longer easily obtain a visa to the EU from Monday. Last week, the European Commission announced its intention to suspend favorable visa rules for Russians. That will actually be the case from Monday.

The cost of applying for a Schengen visa will increase for Russians from 35 euros to 80 euros. There will also be more paperwork involved. Processing times for Russian visa applications are also getting longer. And there will be restrictions on so-called multiple-entry visas. The tightening of the rules could lead to Russian visa applications being rejected more quickly, and even current visas will be revoked.

However, Russians traveling to the EU for urgent reasons can still receive expedited and relatively cheap visa processing. This particularly concerns family members of EU citizens, journalists, Russian dissidents and people from civil society organisations. EU member states can reduce or even completely abolish visa fees for Russians from such groups.

Sunday, September 11

Power outages in various parts of Ukraine after shelling

21:45 | After the partial withdrawal of its troops, according to several Ukrainian authorities, Russia has shelled some of the critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Administrators and politicians in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkov region, where Russian units had only recently withdrawn, reported major problems with electricity and water supplies following Russian shelling.

“This is a despicable and cynical revenge of the Russian aggressor for the success of our army,” the mayor of Kharkov, the regional capital of the same name, wrote on Telegram. Similar messages came in the evening from Sumi, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Zaporizhzhya and Odessa regions. Meanwhile, air raid sirens were being sounded across Ukraine. Several people reported the sound of explosions on social media.

President Volodymyr Zelensky also blames the Russians for the power outages in eastern Ukraine. “A total blackout in Kharkov and Donetsk regions and partially in Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk and Sumi regions,” Zelensky said in a statement on social media, blaming “Russian terrorists”. “No military facilities,” he added. ‘The goal is to deprive people of light and heat.’

Under pressure from the latest Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Saturday, more than six months after the start of the war, that it would withdraw its own troops from the Kharkov region. The official reason for the withdrawal was a strategic ‘regrouping’ of the units. Moscow has yet to respond to Ukrainian claims that it has deliberately disabled civilian infrastructure.

Putin and Macron agree on ‘non-political interaction’ Zaporizhzhya

17:50 | Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Sunday expressed their willingness for “depoliticized interaction” with the UN nuclear agency IAEA if the security situation around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant requires it, the Kremlin reports. The two presidents spoke on the phone.

In the conversation, Putin pointed out to his French counterpart the potentially “catastrophic consequences” of what he believes were Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, a Russian-controlled area in southeastern Ukraine. Putin said Ukrainians are carrying out “regular” attacks on nuclear facilities in Zaporizhzhya, including a radioactive waste storage facility, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Macron told Putin that the biggest threat to the safety of the nuclear power plant lies in the presence of Russian troops at the complex, an Elysée statement said. Macron then called on Putin to remove both heavy and light weapons from the site. The French president also said that Russia must immediately cease all military activities in Ukraine.

The grain agreement brokered by Turkey and the UN was also discussed. With this agreement, Ukrainian food exports by sea resumed this summer after months of war. Putin said the EU should not thwart the delivery of Russian food and fertilizer to Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, Russian state news agency Ria Novosti reported. Macron asked Putin for assurances that the grain deal will be respected so that exports “go to those who need them the most.”

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